Author Topic: Akadama Substitutes  (Read 20804 times)

Tim Gardner

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2012, 05:30 PM »
$105. 72 per bag? Really!!
 

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2012, 06:19 PM »
Thats cheap! First you have to aquire the ground from wich to collect the red balls from. Gather appropriate tractors and dump trucks to get it to the crusher. Motorized screener (described elsewhere here) and then contain all this in an APA approved building with apprpriate dust collecting apparatice. License, workers comp. liability insurance, bags, labor, pallets and a way to get it to market and/or ship it.

In todays market thats cheap!

35.00 a bag don't sound so spensive does it.....

bout 3.00 a bag for me.
 

Michael T

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2012, 07:12 AM »
If turface and other high fired clay substrates fail to hold fertilizers for sufficient periods, what's wrong with just adding slow release fertilizers to the mix that provide a continuous food source at each watering?

I use straight turface and mix in Schultz's slow release fertilizer (small granular feed that's not visible when mixed in) and feed once a week with Miracle Gro's pre-mixed liquid fertilizers and my trees have never been healthier.  The growth is ridiculous.

My surinam cherries produced cherries this spring that were the size of golf balls.  My Maples have been cut back four times in two months.

In short, the fact that substrates like turface allow the fertilizer to wash out with each watering simply allows the tree to be fed at greater and more frequent intervals without fear of toxicity building in the soil base.  Isn't that Walter's point and practice? With no risk of compaction.

I've been following that protocol for two full seasons.  Starting my third.  And my trees have never been healthier.

The only down side is that I water every day when I used to be able to let them slide a day or two.  But, that just encouraged me to neglect my trees.  Now I see them every day which causes me to pay better attention to their condition. 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 07:16 AM by Michael T »
 

Owen Reich

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 888
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2012, 09:09 AM »
Organic fertilizers applied at lower rates for refined trees help keep their fine branching soft or foliage shorter / smaller.  As has been put forward in other threads, synthetics and "super-feeding" during development can be great.  I prefer Osmocote.  However, in a hot and even more dangerous also wet environment, those prills will release a lot faster. 

Certain species will also accept or resent super feeding.  Walter is right that many fertilzers work. Something without kanji on the label does work too  ;D.  He mentioned using whatever was cheap at the time.  Walter is probably also knowledgable about exactly what is in each one and changes rates of application accordingly. 

 

Tim Gardner

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2012, 10:17 AM »
Owen were are you studying in Japan? I think that osmocote is ok, but I would put it in a tea bag or something that will allow you to take it off after spring when the weather starts getting hot.
 

Owen Reich

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 888
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2012, 06:15 PM »
Hi Tim, I'm studying at Kouka-en.  Fujikawa-San has never heard of Osmocote  ;D.  I used it a lot back home; it was free.  The tea bags are a good idea.  When I return, I'm planning on making my own fertilizer cakes or getting them from someone else stateside.  That and I'll used liquid synthetics and organics. 
 

Alain Bertrand

  • Jr. Forum Member
  • **
  • Posts: 67
  • Thanked: 1 times
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2012, 01:40 AM »
Quote
Fujikawa-San has never heard of Osmocote
In fact, the first *cote fertilizer ever was a Japanese invention by Chisso corp. (yes, the same corporation responsible of the Minimata disease). That is funny that bonsai people don't know that kind of fertilizer.
 

akeppler

  • Sr. Forum Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2012, 01:48 AM »
If it were in the shape of a rapeseed cake, they would know about it....
 

Tim Gardner

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2012, 05:55 PM »
Hi Tim, I'm studying at Kouka-en.  Fujikawa-San has never heard of Osmocote  ;D.  I used it a lot back home; it was free.  The tea bags are a good idea.  When I return, I'm planning on making my own fertilizer cakes or getting them from someone else stateside.  That and I'll used liquid synthetics and organics. 


Cool! I studied at Daiju en in Okazaki under Tohru Suzuki. I will be returning there soon. How is Bjorn these days? How is the apprentice life treating you?
 

Owen Reich

  • Hero Forum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 888
  • Thanked: 7 times
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2012, 09:12 PM »
Life is good.  Learning more and more every day.  It's an apprenticeship, so I'm constantly physically and mentally tired.....  You understand  ;D. Bjorn is doing well.  He's in Nashville with Fujikawa-San right now teaching.  He'll be back here in August I think.  I posted a list of Japanese terms on one of your blog posts a while back.  Please email that to me if you don't mind; I want to send it to Michelle. 

Thanks
 

Tim Gardner

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2012, 04:50 PM »
Owen, my blog is down right now, I need to renew my account. I am not sure that posts will still be there when I do, so if I don't send it in the near future you know that it wasn't there. If it is, sure I will!


Ganbatte,

Tim Gardner
 

FrankP999

  • Legit New User
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Akadama Substitutes
« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2012, 07:37 PM »
I ran across this chart in Journal of American Bonsai Society Vol 43 #4 2009 page 6. The talk about ability to hold fertilizer made me look this up to see the CEC (cation-exchange capacity ) of various materials.

                            CEC   pH      water retention
Kiryu River sand    11.7   5       low
coarse sand    0    7       low
Perlite       1.5-3.5    6.5-7.9       low
akadama          31.4   6.5-6.9       high
red lava rock       10-30?    6       med
haydite/calcinated clay   15-40    7       med
decomposed granite                    1-15    6.5-7                   med
pumice          15    7-7.5       low
Kanuma          62    6.4       high
Turface          33    n       med
pine bark          53-100    4-5.1       high
charcoal          >200    6.7-9.7       low
sphagnum peat       100-180    3.9-4.9       high
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 07:41 PM by FrankP999 »